U.S.'s Slow Start, Missed Chances Lead to 0-0 Draw
Jurgen Klinsmann's squad got off to a predictably slow start and looked sluggish for the first hour of its match against Scotland. The subs generated more energy, but could not manage to get on the scoresheet.
BY Brian Sciaretta PostedGLASGOW—On a cold night at Hampden Park, the United States got off to a sluggish start and never fully recovered, playing Scotland to a fairly dull scoreless draw. It was the first trip to Scotland for the United States since 2005 when it played to a 1-1 draw. The home team, on the other hand, came in with motivation to avenge a 5-1 loss in the last meeting in Jacksonville in 2012. The Americans were missing significant components in their attack due to injuries to Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, and Fabian Johnson. Instead, Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan, and Eddie Johnson were given the chance in the midfield. For the first 10 minutes, Scotland controlled possession but the U.S. weathered the initial storm. While the Americans gradually improved in the first half, Scotland created the better chances. In the 24th minute, an Omar Gonzalez foul gave Scotland a dangerous free kick from 19 yards out, but Charlie Mulgrew shot over the bar. In the 36th minute, a defensive breakdown gave Scotland's Craig Conway a golden opportunity but he missed wide on his near-post shot. The second half opened with no changes and once again Scotland came out with better chances. In the 53rd minute Scotland nearly took the lead when Steven Whittaker dribbled through the American defense, evading Jermaine Jones only to be fouled by Geoff Cameron. On the ensuing free kick, Richard Snodgrass struck the ball beautifully from 30 yards and forced Howard into making a sprawling save to push the ball over the net. One minute later, it appeared that Scotland had earned a penalty on an apparent hand ball by Omar Gonzalez. Instead, Scotland had to settle for a corner kick which came to nothing. As the second half moved on, the Americans pushed forward and began to have the better of the opportunities for the remainder of the game. The tide shifted in the 59th minute, and the United States had their best chance of the game when Geoff Cameron made a run into the attack out of central defense. He fed Altidore in the middle but the Sunderland forward's powerful shot missed just wide. In the 76th minute, the Americans were denied a penalty call when second-half substitute Brek Shea sent in a cross that hit Alan Hutton's hand inside the box. In the 82nd minute, the Americans launched off a Gonzalez clearance that found its way to Aron Johannsson who narrowly missed a feed to Altdiore. Johannsson, who was very dangerous after coming on in the 62nd, nearly gave the Americans a lead two minutes later when his low, driving shot was saved by David Marshall. Just three minutes later, Shea beat his man on the left side and made a crisp pass to Johannsson inside the box, but the Icelandic-American wasted the opportunity, missing wide. That opportunity was the last chance for either team and the final whistle blew after just two minutes of injury time. It was a mixed result for the U.S. squad that was looking to build momentum heading into the World Cup year. After a poor start, Klinsmann's team began to control the game and it will now look to carry the second-half momentum into Tuesday's friendly against Austria in Vienna.
November 15, 2013
November 15, 2013